There’s little to argue about in the statement that if our area is to be strong, it needs a strong central Cleveland. Historically, a key to Cleveland’s strength has always been its neighborhoods. Two hundred years ago, pockets of immigrants who spoke the same language settled in the same blocks and many Cleveland neighborhoods were born. Today, we still speak of areas such as Collinwood, West Park, Ohio City, and, nearby, the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. With Gordon Square a mini-cultural center, Detroit Shoreway has reinvented itself with new upscale housing, restaurants and services that residents need, and an active group of supporters. Those supporters hosted Shoreway to Heaven, the 10th annual benefit of the Community Development Organization.
This year’s event was held at the 78th Street Studios, a former factory that now is home to a dozen artists’ studios. About 200 supporters recently gathered to celebrate the successes of the neighborhood and recognize extraordinary service. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was on hand, and despite the damage from super-storm Sandy, there was electricity and an atmosphere of enthusiasm and joy.
Although many of the guests are residents of the neighborhood, others have businesses there or recognize it as a vibrant lively place to socialize, dine, and be entertained. This year the organization honored Enterprise which has invested capital in housing to help the area attract a diverse group of residents. Also recognized were Buck Harris and Michael O’Connor who over the last 20 years invested in a home, activated a block club, and started local businesses.
While the Cleveland Public Theater and the Capitol Movie Theater are the neighborhood’s best known venues, Detroit Shoreway includes new homes in the area between Lake Avenue and Lake Erie, known as Battery Park. The 78th Street Studios is located in that area.